Report: Butterfly MacBook Pro keyboards require more frequent, more expensive repairs


Enlarge / The keyboard on the 2016 Touch Bar MacBook Pro. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

An AppleInsider article has stoked some consumer frustration over Apple's butterfly keyboards. In it, AppleInsider combed through a limited dataset of warranty events from participating Apple Genius Bars and third-party repair shops. The site determined that, in that data, the 2016 MacBook Pro's keyboard accounted for twice the percentage of all warranty events in that machine's first year on the market as its predecessors from 2014 and 2015 did.

These keyboards already have plenty of detractors. They have very short travel, which serves two functions: it frees up a tiny bit of space in the machine for other components (every nanometer counts), and it can make typing considerably faster since not as much effort is needed to register a key press. I like these keyboards, but a lot of other people feel strongly that they're terrible to type on.

The AppleInsider report has resulted in Apple customers expressing frustration in forums and on Reddit. Detractors have even started a petition asking Apple to recall all MacBook Pros from 2016 and later and replace their keyboards with a new design that is less prone to failure. That's not likely to happen—partly because it's not practical and partly because the data is not as conclusive as it might seem.

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